What comes to your mind when you think of a CRM portal?

Software that speeds up the customer service process. In reality, a CRM customer portal focuses on customer experience while providing support. As we know, humans in the smartphone era prefer troubleshooting their problems instead of calling and waiting for a support person to help them out. So, portals make that possible for them by offering self-service. It makes customers happy and, in turn, achieves customer loyalty.

From a business perspective, a CRM portal streamlines the business operations. It not only helps address customer issues but offers different ways to deliver the best outcomes. A CRM portal offers an engaging platform where users can access the CRM data, share the details, find solutions, and even collaborate with others.

It reduces the technical communication barrier between businesses and customers.

Here’s what it includes:

Do You Need a CRM Portal?

90% of customers consider customer service important for loyalty and brand. As self-service is taking over the traditional communication method, customer portals are becoming a preferred option. Here are some key indicators that your business needs a customer portal solution:

  • You need to share and exchange relevant documents frequently—legal documents in the real estate and finance industries, for example.
  • You want to expand customer support services without recruiting any more support staff.
  • You’re planning to automate the ticket system by allowing customers to raise tickets and track the status.
  • You are looking to provide users with direct access to invoices and quotes.
  • You want to allow customers to pay online.
  • You want to issue customer invoices directly.
  • You want to provide customers with a secure place to order, track the status, manage their invoices and tickets, and arrange payments.

According to research, 60% of US consumers prefer automated self-service rather than talking to a customer support rep. And the global pandemic has sped up the digital transformation, agree 75% of the global leaders. This self-service trend is soon going to be an essential step as technology becomes more prevalent. Let me tell you that now customers prefer automated interactions with chatbots for simple tasks. It’s just a matter of time before businesses start implementing CRM portals for customer experience.

Customer Portal Solution: Applications

From giving customers the privilege to solve their queries themselves to building a community of thriving users and improving business efficiency, customer portal software offers businesses abundant opportunities to improve their support process. Let’s look at the must-have features of a CRM portal and how they can benefit your business.

Speedy Process

The major reason to have it is to speed up the registration and authentication process. Manual verification of customer details consumes a lot of time. However, a CRM portal allows digital onboarding with a single sign-in option. Besides, customers and other portal users can quickly update and validate their details and documents. They can upload documents digitally and speed up the process. As it allows automatic verification of customer identity, we can save that onboarding process quickly and error-free.

Meets Customer Expectations

You need to have a portal because customers expect self-service. It makes it easy for end-users to access the information they require. They can raise tickets, track the status, manage their orders and invoices, share documents, access the knowledge base, and communicate.

Hence, we agree that customer support capabilities enhance customer experience, build brand loyalty, and increase customer retention.

Improves Engagement

Portal solutions allow businesses to create a sense of community with features like self-help customer forums, product/service feedback, polls, and surveys. With forums, customers/end-users can help one another, saving the support team time to focus on priority tasks or queries. Apart from addressing an issue, they can suggest ideas and even pitch new features. If your product requires demos and training, a community will be a great help.

Consolidates Information System

A CRM portal offers customers/users all the resources and tools. It acts as a central repository of users’ information—knowledge management, CRM, online community, in-depth training, etc.

Further, it enables customer interaction with information – add comments, share, subscribe to updates, etc. Content categorization, versioning, convenient search, and scheduled publishing help send a strong message about customer loyalty.

Protects the Privacy

Giving access to CRM means giving access to customers’ sensitive information. It can be risky to allow every user to access the entire data. To limit it and protect the customer information, the CRM portal provides compliance with laws and regulations and features like role-based access. It means users can access the data based on the roles assigned to them. An unauthorized person can’t tamper with the data. This creates transparency and builds customers’ credibility.

So, these are the capabilities that every portal should have, irrespective of the domain or technology. Some other features that the portal should have are:

  • Your portal solution should auto-sync with CRM and other systems.
  • If your product/service is technology-based, customers/users should be aware of it. Keep them updated with emails and notifications.
  • The portal should be customizable at every stage. It should allow integration with third-party apps.

Use-Cases of a CRM Portal

Apart from support, communication, information, and security, portal solutions have various features that differ based on the industry, user type, and technology. For example, a travel portal might have different features than the insurance industry, where data security and document management will be more important.

Here are a few of the domain-specific portal solutions, along with their features:

Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, you can enhance the capabilities of customer portals to manage patients, staff, surgeries, and other administrative work by creating a multi-tier portal solution with employee management, supplier management, and partner management.

  • With patient portals, patients can schedule appointments, view reports, and supervise their treatments. They can consult doctors online, invoke their insurance claims, and stay updated with their regular checkups and appointments scheduled.
  • For doctors, it includes managing patients and viewing their records, illness history, treatments, and essential data. Besides, they can manage their releases, appointments, and schedules.
  • Admin, on the whole, can manage schedules for staff and doctors, view patient records and details, entire administrative operations, and legal actions.

Tip: While creating a healthcare portal, offer patients to fill intake forms and answer the symptoms questionnaire so that the consultation with doctors is result-oriented.

Insurance

A customer portal software allows end-users to access their insurance policies’ details remotely and pay the premium amount online. For agents, it means more insurers and better services. Here are the features to be included in the insurance portal.

  • Policy management to view the policies sold, agents’ performance, canceled policies, total amount, premiums, etc.
  • Agent management to view agents’ progress, assign them territories, customers, policies, renewals, etc.
  • Shared space for document sharing between customers and agents.
  • Claims and renewal to allow customers to file a claim and track status.
  • Online payment to third parties.
  • Downloadable bank statements.

Tip: Allow auto log-out after a specific duration of inactivity to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the information. Use two-factor verification for document sharing or retrieving.

Real Estate

If you’re having problems with scattered information, mismanaged tasks, dispersed databases, then build a real-estate portal. It will provide a one-stop solution to cater to all the B2B and B2C specific challenges. Here’s how you can tweak the customer portal for your real-estate business.

  • Data management module to store all the details and help customers and agents find properties by indicating parameters.
  • Seamless sync between database and portal.
  • Property categorization and presentation by defining parameters.
  • Tracking analytics to identify the roadblocks and failed strategies.
  • Communication management for brokers and potential sellers/buyers.
  • Tenant reports for a background check.
  • Geolocation for easy navigation.

Tip: For communication, allow users to chat via social channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, etc.

Travel

Simplify your travel business operations by converting manual travel bookings to online with self-service options. A few tweaks to your customer portal solution, and you will have your custom travel portal ready. The features include:

  • Ticket management, bookings management, identification management, payment management for Admin
  • Agents can handle commissions and deals, and reservations. They can boost customer loyalty with credit management.
  • Customers can check and book their tickets, hotels, and packages on their own. They can pay online and even manage their bookings and cancellation.

Tip: Use machine learning and AI for better recommendations and personalized services.

Manufacturing and Logistics

For the manufacturing industry, a continuous supply chain is essential. With a supplier/vendor portal, you can achieve control over suppliers, shipment, and transportation.

Here are the features it offers:

  • Auto-filtering of the applications.
  • Share proposals via secure login.
  • Proposal evaluation, comparison, and ranking.
  • Auto-ranking of the proposals.
  • Generating invoices and orders directly.
  • Role-based access to protect the data.

Tip: You can add automated emails and reminders to notify suppliers about their proposal approval or rejection.

Similarly, you can modify a customer portal for nonprofit, legal, IT services, education, and banking industry. If you have a specific user or technology requirement, well, you can get that too.

Biztech helps you set up an industry-specific portal for better interactions and convenience.

The most popular CRM solutions with customer portal capabilities are:

Ways to Develop a CRM Portal

There are different ways of integrating a portal solution. You can go for a ready-to-integrate solution or build a customized portal from scratch.

Ready-to-Integrate

The readily available solution will have all the features according to the industry and the portal type. For example, if you’re buying a readily available non-profit portal, it will consist of a set of features specific to the nonprofit industry like donor management, volunteer management, etc. If the solution provider offers customization, you can even make changes and add/remove some functionalities.

Custom Development

If you need a customized solution that’s tailored to your business, then develop one from scratch. A custom-developed portal solution means it’s specifically for your business requirements and has all the features that you require. The best part of custom development is you can update it with the latest trends and technologies. For example, you may not add a chatbot today, but you can get it added later without switching to a new solution.

While talking about development methods, we offer readily available solutions and custom development. If you have an existing portal solution and want to enhance its functionalities, we will help you with that too.

Want to develop a portal solution?